Monday, January 18, 2010

A Great Light Study Snack

Tonight I stumbled upon a delicious, healthy, and simple little snack that really blends nicely with studying. Although I had tasty zucchini lasagna for dinner, two hours later, I felt the need for a light snack that would not derail my health plans. And, after giving the matter some thought, inspiration struck!

Since carbs give energy, and I do have a fair amount of studying left to do tonight, I wanted something with some good whole wheat flour in it. Naturally, I thought of the delicious bread in my refrigerator (I keep it there because it lasts longer and maintains better flavor). Since switching to the Sugar Busters lifestyle, I have a new bread in my life: Nature's Own Double Fiber Wheat bread. It contains five grams of fiber per slice, yet only thirteen grams of carbs per slice (excess carbs convert to sugar, which turns to fat, so it's a good idea to keep carbs low after about 5:00 in the evening). In addition, there are only fifty calories per slice and less than one gram of sugar.

Now a slice or two of plain bread would have been too boring for a study snack. And the idea of toast just didn't seem to excite me either. Instead, I poured a little bit of olive oil in a skillet, then cooked two slices of bread until they were an attractive golden brown on each side. Then I sprinkled about 1/8 of a teaspoon of Splenda on each slice. Since my body is no longer accustomed to sugary treats, my lightly sweetened bread tasted like a very pleasant desert, with none of the guilt. I served it with a piping hot cup of my current favorite tea: Celestial Seasonings "Perfectly Pear" white tea.

Not only was my snack delicious, it was also extremely healthy. In that one snack, I got ten grams of fiber, which aids in weight loss (my Aunt Diane would be delighted to know that it also gives tremendous gas to people unaccustomed to a high-fiber diet), as well as a healthy dose of Omega-3s (both from the bread and from the olive oil). My snack had very little sugar (under two grams), gave a small dose of carbs (which perked me right up), and also got another eight ounces of water into me (from the tea). Now I can resume studying with vigor, rather than with a belly bloated from an unfortunate snack choice.

I had a lot of fun with my new Sugar Busters cookbook yesterday. I made the Cheese and Green Chillies Quiche for lunch (the remainder of which was breakfast today) and then the Chesapeake Crab Cakes, along with homemade salsa, for dinner (the leftovers will be a nice meal later this week). Tomorrow, which is my first day of classes, I plan to have the Tarragon Chicken Salad for my lunch. I'm eating so well that it's hard to believe it's all healthy!

Mondays are going to be interesting for me this semester. The way my classes are scheduled, I have Modern European Military History from 4:00 to 6:45, and then Historical Methods from 7:00 until 9:40. In order to park in a space within sight of the building, I'll have to get there by 3:30. That means that dinner on Mondays will have to be something portable that can be eaten in fifteen minutes, and I'll probably want to pack a light snack as well. The rest of the week will be much easier.

Well, time for my copy of the Oxford History of Modern War and I to head on down to the gym!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"